Scientist of the Day - Balduin Möllhausen
Balduin Möllhausen, a German artist and explorer, was born Jan. 27, 1825. Möllhausen first came to the United States in the 1850s, when he took part in several expeditions to the American west. The most interesting of these was the Ives expedition of 1857-58, where the party members steamed up the Colorado River from the Gulf of California in a steamship assembled at the mouth of the Gulf for that purpose. Möllhausen was able to assemble a variety of sketches, of the varying landscape (including a drawing of the rim of the Grand Canyon), of desert vegetation, and of the native tribes that the expedition encountered.
Some of his drawings were used for the official Report of the expedition, written by Ives, but not many. So Möllhausen returned to Germany and published his own narrative with his own illustrations, Reisen in die Feldengebirge Nord-Amerikas (Travels into the Rocky Mountains of North America, 1861). We have this two-volume set in the History of Science Collection, and the images above were selected from the many hand-tinted plates that appear in Möllhausen’s narrative.
Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City